ZK-AKU      de Havilland D.H.89B Dragon Rapide         (c/n  6662)


                                    This was the last of the original three Rapides of Union Airways to open up the Cook Strait
                                    services after WW II.    It is seen above and below in NZNAC service in 1949 and 1953
                                    respectively.  It was named "Tawaka".  ZK-AKU was sold in 1963 to the Nelson Aero Club
                                    and then to Patchett Safaris of Christchurch in 1965.  Rotorua Aerial Charter purchased it in
                                   1967.  Sold to D. Gray, Auckland in 1968.  It took part in the London to Sydney Air Race in
                                   1969, and  remained at Bankstown for a while following the race, during which time Greg
                                   Banfield took the third shot below early on the morning of 5 January 1970.   ZK-AKU is
                                   currently still airworthy and based at Ardmore.  As is the wont these days, it is now decked
                                   out as a "warbird", and is seen in the lower contemporary image by Ivan Prince as "NZ528",
                                   its RNZAF serial.